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Greedy Gus

Andrew Long - April 25 '04- 15:24 Eastern Standard Time

I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT FILM CRITICS are a bunch of spineless idiots, prone to bandwagon-jumping and poor decision making as a basis for deciding how sequels should be rated. I first got an inkling of this effect upon seeing Matrix Revolutions, which was resoundingly panned by critics for no apparent reason, despite their nearly universal declaration of love for the second title in the series, which was by far the weakest. It's almost as though, having universally decided upon the greatness of the second movie, that they felt slighted in retrospect by having not been able to properly pan Reloaded as it so richly deserved. Instead, they took it out on Revolutions, which, while it did not even compare with the first Matrix, was nevertheless a relief after that second piece of trash, which I incidentally saw the special effects from in a very bad movie from Hong Kong entitled "Spy Dad" which featured the following dialogue:

Daughter:Is Mum coming yet?

Spy Dad:No, mum never comes!

BURN! Moving right along, the deal was sealed for me with Kill Bill 2, which I had the misfortune of sitting through last night. Now, lest you think I hated it, I didn't, really, but it was a big disappointment after the goodness of the first volume, and the pacing, dialogue, and general cleverness of the film were much less than expected, to say nothing of its tedious predictability. The whole thing kind of came off as someone attempting to mimic Quentin Tarantino and failing miserably, and yet, film critics who are paid to point these things out, while they hinted around the edges of them, never quite managed to find the heart to come right out and say that Tarantino had released a stinking ball of poorly realized potential. Kill Bill should've been one 3 hour movie without a great number of the scenes from the second installment, and I'm really rather irritated that I was duped into paying to see it twice.

This is why all movie critics must pay for this injustice - they cost me ten bucks. I at least expect Ebert to be a good warning sign, because he usually hates many of the movies that I do, and he can generally be trusted when he pans something. But no, instead I get four stars, and a nasty little shock. Screw you, world!




SEND LETTER




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PHI leads 1-0
I was possessed
By an evil spirit
Last night
It compelled me
To go forth
And eat of many beefs
Grade N Beef
If such a thing exists
But then
How else could tacos
Be 69 cents?

Strike 2


Regarding the FFX/X-2 getting over Sin quickly thing-

9-11 isn't a good example for it, as you yourself mentioned. I think a better and more applicable example would be antibiotics and bacteria. Bacterial infections were deadly things that rarely (if at all) had cures and had been around since, well, always (yes, bad grammar.. oh well). With the advent of antibiotics, people got over the scourge of bacteria pretty quickly.

It's not quite along the same wavelength as Sin (being that bacteria don't grow into big creatures that can only be defeated by the final summon, which is etc. etc.), but bacteria were terrible killers. Now, aside from a few especially potent strains (that said, even anthrax is curable, you just need to keep taking the Cipro for a long time), bacteria isn't really given that much thought at all.

Aside from that, why shouldn't they get over Sin quickly? Yes, it killed people. They hated it, but even then they were used to it (well, as much as they could be). They'd even accepted the fact that it could come back, so having it gone could only be a good thing. What's wrong with having a scourge eradicated? People didn't sit around moping about how those bacteria were killed in their bodies by the antibiotics, they were (and/or are) happy that they could be healthy once again and relatively worry free, free to go about their lives in whatever way they choose without a dagger hanging above their head.

This is a bit poorly organized, but you get the idea.

-Patrick

----------------------------------------------------------
"I like children. If they're properly cooked."
  -W.C. Fields

ANDREW
I don't think that's a particularly good analogy either, cuz while bacteria killed people and it was all very bad, antibiotics weren't the final solution. New and stronger bacteria resistant to antibiotics continues to develop even now, and things like SARS (yes, I know it's a virus) coming up are a good indication that disease is still a problem. Granted, a lot of very bad diseases have been effectively wiped out... in developed countries, anyway. They still persist in the third world, which continues to be a problem to this day, so I don't think that analogy is a good one either, because I know I'm at least moderately concerned about a new flu epidemic sweeping through the world.


Ride the plane with you? Sounds risky


Castosoused,

*rises from seat* Hello, my name is Shroudie and I'm a stalker. There, got that off my chest, and now I feel all sharey and clean. As to the WOW beta-fest, you would think that they would have a contest where you would write wonderful haikus about orcs, drarves, skeletons, etc. If that were the case, I'm sure you would get the top score. What's with the ladders crap? We're not playing a freakin' volleyball tournament here, are we?? Unless, Blizzard means the "cannonball tournament" the crew is playing down in the crab deck. If that's the case, if we get too close to the sun, the lobsters will take over the ship and enslave us all!! What evar shall we do?! For your safety, the exits are located to your left and right. If by any chance we should experience an emergency, a bowling ball will fall from the above compartment and knock you all out. As for other upcoming games, Tales of Symphonia looks really good. Is it me or did Namco modeled Shi hnah's design and attire on FFX's Yuna? Granted, it's not being released for the PS2 over here...drats, so that means I'll have to go find my plastic hammer to beat them with. Errr-replace "plastic" with "iron", "hammer" with "truck", and "beat" with "scatter campfires". We hope you enjoy your flight, and thank you for flying Shroudie Airlines.

A complimentary bag of peanuts with your rum?,

O' Shrouded One

ANDREW
I'm not so sure peanuts go too well with rum, so I think I'll pass up your offer for now, but a haiku contest would be super duper. On the downside, it'd also be way too subjective, so Blizzard would prolly have to deal with a lot of headaches from people bitching about how their haiku is clearly the best one evar. Still, that's no reason to discard a perfectly good idea, so perhaps I shall conduct some sort of haiku contest... But then again, perhaps I won't.


Get a real link!


Any truth to these new Shining Force games, Shining Tears and another Shining Force game for the PS2? Here's a link to the picture it came from but its all fuzzy :(

THIS LINK IS FAILURE

Here's hoping... And my Demo disk for Front Mission 4 came in the mail yesterday... Elsa's voice= Me shivering. But the game play itself look very very cool! I can't wait for it :P

Wolf X

ANDREW
If there is, I won't be substantiating it based upon a 404, my friend.


The Eggman goeth, and he brings the Eggwoman


Hey Andrew,

You know, so many of the regulars have a signature greeting. I need a signature greeting. Hmmm, I guess quoting The Beatles would be too predictable.

Ever had a game addiction? Well honestly I can not say I was ever addicted to a particular game, but I do have an addiction. I currently work at a large video game retailer. The result of my addiction is not that I spend too much time playing a particular game, but rather that I have a large stack of unfinished (even a few unplayed) games that keeps getting larger. In the meantime, my paychecks don't seem to be big enough to afford all the games that I want. This is a problem. I really want to try to get a copy of Disgaea, but at this point I have decided that since it would just distract me from the pile again, I should just let it go. What a tragedy!!! The worst part is that I bought an Arc the Lad collection just because I knew it was rare and never played it. I eventually sold it for a tidy profit, but I can only imagine how many people are cringing from the thought that I had it and never played it.

So basically, my addiction is to buying so many games that I don't have time for them. On the bright side (for me anyway), my boss is 100 times worse. He bought Steel Battalion for Xbox for a whopping $250 Canadian, and didn't play it (well I think he played it eventually, but it took a year).

Anyhoo, I am leaving for my Honeymoon (been married over a year, but I can finally afford it) tomorrow so I won't be around to read Q&A. Could someone do me a favour and write a summary of the next week and send it off to me. That would be fantastic (just kidding of course).

Eggman

ANDREW
You'd better be kidding, because you didn't give me a forwarding address you jerk! I know the pain of the ever-growing games stack all too well, though, so I must sympathize with your plight. I think mine is small by some people's standards, but it's still hovering around a dozen games or so, which is really a rather big waste of money. The real tragedy, though, is your boss paying $250 for an Xbox game...Such insanity should be criminal.


Enough with the anagrams already


::Rises from the mist carrying a bottle of aspartime::

Castmole! Mast Cole! Come last!
Still trying to tame the wild anagrams... please don't make me bounce the ball...

First off, let it be known that death is ever a part of life as it is in video games.

Oh, and birds go "tweet". Now that we got the obvious out of the way...

One major problem in some games is the cliche way of dealing with death. When used theatrically, it's a good way to pull the player in emotionally (*coughAeriscough*). Conversely, it can also be seen as the ultimate cliche if it's used too often and without cause.

One good example: FF4. By the midpoint of the game(spoiler warning) you can almost PREDICT when a character is about to die to some trivial event that could easily be remedied with phoenix down. I mean, come on- Yang getting blown up? On mount hobs, the friggin bombs blew him sky high every few seconds.

And yet, that's how he dies? Wow. Way to kill off characters, guys.

ANDREW
The worst part there is how they bring them all back at the end. "Gee, it sure was nice of the master to revive us." NO IT WASN'T! I WASTED HOURS IN BARON USING EVERY ITEM IN MY INVENTORY TO TRY AND DESTONE THOSE LITTLE PRICKS! Makes me sad, because they're really not worth it.

Granted, I've seen it in plenty of other RPGs too, but since I've started replaying FF4, it's the closest example. Which leads me to my question: isn't the Sealed Cave the most annoying labyrinth ever? In case you've forgotten, it's the one where all the doors turn into monsters with instant-kill and loads of HP, cumulating to a Killer Wall of DoomTM that kills you if you don't bash it quick enough. Rosa, I need 50ccs of Haste, STAT!

And don't forget to pack the phoenix down, either!

NeoCarbuncle
Phoenix down... are you sure it's not a narcotic?

ANDREW
Yes, I hated that wall, even though I inadvertantly circumvented it by jumping with Kain. That showed it who was boss...


How to deal with my mother, allegedly


1. Take her to this website: http://www.snopes.com/toxins/aspartame.asp.

2. Print the following out and show it to her:

Hello, Mom of Castomel. This is the Voice of Reason.

The people that believe in this aspartame-causes-all-ills-in-the-universe crap are a bigger pack of idiots than a bunch of drunk college students. They WILL NOT listen to reason, and have made PATHETIC threats against people that say they are wrong. They over-inflate their credentials; their scientific "experiements" are done with no controls, which, if you took high school science, you'd KNOW you need for an experiment to be conducted without bias.

Seriously, these people are some of the most unpleasant people I've ever had the misfortune of coming across. I'm a regular on the urban legends message board on About.com and these people came, disputed the claims that were painstakenly disproven, pulled a bunch of people out of nowhere that came from another forum and were about as in the dark as they were, and threatened to have the moderator of the site prosecuted for his actions. When they left, everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief.

And you know what? These people hate canola oil too. They make the claim that it's base (rapeseed) is related to the mustard plant and was used to make the chemical weapon mustard gas. NOT! Mustard gas just describes its smell, dumbass.

If you ever go to their website, it is the most pathetic piece of work ever done. I'm sure my new media teacher would have them fail web design class--it looks like something thrown together in 5 minutes in Front Page, and NOTHING, repeat NOTHING is corroborated by an outside source.

If all else fails, make a fake web site that says that your mother's famous hot celebrity is gay. (There's sites that make fake CNN or MTV pages out there; search for one to give it more of that authenticity.) Show it to her, and then as she denies it, say, "But didn't you say that everything on the Internet is true?"

Bucket Mouse.

ANDREW
All good ideas, if my mother was like most. As it stands, she's not, which is why, while cold logic certainly doesn't work against her, she will shift a few degrees towards it in order to make her position unassailable. As such, she has already "admitted" that the truth is "somewhere in between the chain letter and what (I, Andrew, am) saying", which is to say, she still thinks that aspartame will melt my insides, but her official position leaves no further room for argument of that point because she's supposedly given some ground. It's totally illogical, really quite ingenious, and it makes me very glad that I'm not at the mercy of her every whim, because it's an evil tactic which nobody should have to put up with and would probably drive me crazy in short order.

Also, just in case I still had wiggle room, my aunt's doctor has unfortunately fallen in with this scheme, and so my mom thinks she has first-hand proof, since my aunt has gone over to aspartame freedom and CHANGED! Ah, the joys of quack science... I sure hope my aunt doesn't have cancer or something and they miss it because they think diet coke was the problem :(


Ah, Diablo 2... The unhealthiest of the major gluts


Hey Cast,

I have an incredible tale of addiction rivaled only by Requiem for a Dream and maybe some more inherently "evil" MMORPGs like Everquest. This one however, involves Diablo 2.
I bought the Diablo 2 Battle Chest for my youngest brother (10 years old) for Christmas 2002. From Christmas morn TO THIS VERY DAY, my other brother (of the 19 year variety) has not stopped playing it.

Upon moving from Single Player to Multiplayer, he has become a Diablo 2 God over the course of this last year and a third. He even started selling some of his equipment via Ebay once the 1.10 patch was released and made quite the pretty penny. Those days are now over but he still has about 3 accounts full of equipment mules and the godliest equipment you can imagine. Not to make this turn into a hording contest, his use of the computer has prompted me to visit the infamously crowded Robarts Library whenever I have school work that needs to be completed. I don't think I want to room with him next year if only because of his insane play schedule. I went to bed last night around 2:30am and he was up yet again playing it and is still sleeping (12:16pm). Ah well. At least he's having fun right?

Element

ANDREW
I don't think that's possible at this point, but then, I didn't think it was possible to have a diablo glut of such astounding duration and gravity. I think you need to save your brother's life and do something to the CD, because that's just not healthy and besides, you're taking up precious space in Robarts, and I have to walk around those lineups sometimes, dammit!


Unfit for Print


Have you ever heard of Final Fantasy before? I hear its a top notch series of RPG.

ANDREW
Have you heard of trite understatement? It's totally not funny!

YOU 'DREW
QUICKIE I
It's been up for awhile,
so someone probably guessed it already (I'm not good at paying attention). If not, though, I believe the Frog King said it to Cyrus in Chrono Trigger. Or maybe it was Azala to Crono. I don't remember. Let's just say I guess both of those.

Kaiju Munky

Andrew:
Not only has it been up for a while, it's already been guessed. No soup for you!

QUICKIE II
Hey Andrew
I will not take that back! Oh and I was addicted to Harvest Moon. MUST GROW TOMATOES! help me, the Harvest Moon is calling me.

The Batman

Andrew:
Well, I suppose growing tomatoes is better than some of the other drugs those TV stars of the 60s got into, but I can't help but think that DC Comics would not be amused.

QUICKIE III
Hey Andrew,
So who will be the lucky one to go to E3 this year and see all the new kick ass games?

B.T.W I hate you out of jealousy!
Tonberryking

Andrew:
Not me! So take back that hatred out of jealousy, and love me, love me, love me out of lust! I'm just that sexy, you know.

QUICKIE IV
In response to your note yesterday:
But WHERE has all the rum gone?

-- Calydor, back in the quickies.

Andrew:
Into mah belly, of course...What kind of wannabe pirate would I be if I just left rum lying around?



DA LAST GRUMBLE

Well, thanks for another great week, you groovy cats you. Next time around, we'll be having a fantastic guest host, something I haven't done in a while and I think is long overdue for some doing. Yes, Honk-Honk the Abusive Clown will be along for the ride, and he promises to bring along many vulgarnesses for your general enjoyment. This kind of talent doesn't come cheap, so I expect you to have many clown-related questions for us. For example, a game like FF7 had a very well-executed amusement park area, whereas the one in Star Ocean 2 was pretty much an afterthought (and it had terrible music besides). Do you like these areas? Do you think it's good to have all the minigames in one place like that, or does it expose how similar and simplistic they are? Are you afraid of clowns? Well, Friday will be trying for you if you are!

At any rate, I shall depart, and may all your troubles be creamsicle-related. Column end!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Andrew Long can hardly wait till Friday!

GOOGLE WILL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS, YOU PROVIDE THE

QUESTIONS


Seriously, Honk Honk the Abusive Clown is just what this column needs!

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